General Anesthesia

Our General Anesthesia leaves you feeling comfortable and content during your procedure without making you feel groggy all day afterwards.

“Will I be able to sleep through it?” Is one of the most common questions we receive when a patient comes in for their initial consultation before having Oral Surgery. Our surgical center staffs a fully qualified Nurse Anesthetist who administers anesthesia alongside Dr. Bulloch, who also did an additional year of residency doing hospital anesthesia. Our facility has your comfort and safety at the forefront of our priorities.

“Brett, Our nurse anesthetist, has been practicing anesthesia for 14 years, with 12 of those years being in a hospital based environment. Throughout his career he has administered all types of anesthetics, and taken care of patients from newborn to the elderly.”

General Anesthesia FAQ:

We feel it is safest for our patients to have two qualified practitioners in the room throughout the surgery. This provides a great increase in available expertise and experience, and allows Dr. Bulloch to focus primarily on the surgery and its challenges while Brett focuses on the anesthesia and the safety and comfort of the patient at the same time. This is one more way that we demonstrate our determination to put the safety and comfort of our patients first.

Is the anesthesia Performed by an Oral Surgeon Different than that Performed by a Dentist?

Yes. There are four levels of licensure for dental practitioners.

Level One: This gives the dentist the certification to give local anesthesia (numbing shots) without which no civilized dentist could practice.

Level Two: This certifies the dentist to give nitrous oxide (laughing gas). All dentists have Level One and Level Two certification.

Level Three: With a few additional hours of training, dentists may obtain Level Three certification. This allows them to perform IV conscious sedation. By definition, conscious sedation requires that the patient is awake and able to converse throughout the procedure. You are not asleep with Level III anesthesia.

Level Four: Generally only certified oral surgeons obtain the training necessary to receive Level IV certification. This allows them to perform deep sedation or general anesthesia in which the patient is asleep throughout the procedure. THis requires specialized training and specialized monitoring and provides a much more comfortable level of anesthesia for most procedures. An oral surgeon can perform any of the four levels of anesthesia, and can, therefore provide the greatest flexibility in anesthesia options.

Why General Anesthesia?

While other types of dental sedation work well for small dental procedures, we prefer to use general anesthesia in our surgical center. Deep sedation, or General Anesthesia allows the patient to sleep throughout the procedure unaware of the surgery being performed. A small IV is placed into an arm vein and anesthetics are administered, These anesthetics are fast acting and short lasting which allows for very small, safe, but effective doses. When the procedure is finished, the doses are immediately discontinued, and the patient wakes up quickly. Patients generally find this anesthetic very comfortable and enjoyable. Nausea is uncommon and can usually be avoided in susceptible patients.

Who needs General Anesthesia?

Patients who generally don’t want to be awake during the surgery. If a patient chooses to be awake during the procedure, they will of course be numbed as to not be in pain. However, other parts of the procedure are generally not very enjoyable such as the sounds and vibrations from the drill. Most patients prefer to be asleep and tend to be more relaxed after the procedure after recieving general anesthesia. 

What are the Safety precautions used with General Anesthesia?

IV anesthesia is considered to be very safe especially in healthy patients. Several studies have been done to look at the level of safety of anesthesia performed by an oral surgeon, and all have demonstrated safety at or above the safety level of any other type of sedation. Because we have two fully qualified staff members in the room monitoring your general anesthesia, you can be confident that you are in very good hands.

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